Sunderland’s 81st League goal

April 14, 1913
Liverpool have formed a high estimate of the prowess of the Cup finalists hailing from the banks of the Wear, and they have every reason for so doing. Seven goals were scored against them when they visited Sunderland last December, and the number was brought to a dozen in the return game at Anfield, when the Wearsiders brought their League total for the season up to 81.

Yet the Anfielders enjoyed far more of the play than the result would suggest. The fact that they were four goals in arrears at the interval was the result of two outstanding frailties, and not to a general weakness throughout the team.

In the first place, the Liverpool forwards were averse to shooting, and clung to the ball when favourably placed for scoring with a persistency that was as useless as I was laboured. Many of their movements in carrying danger into the Sunderland territory were most creditably accomplished. The combination between the wing men was good, and opportunities of testing the custodian frequently resulted as a consequence of their skill.

In the early stages Goddard did severely and Parkinson narrowly missed scoring; but these were the exceptions to the rule. Liverpool had quite as many and as easy chances of gaining goals as their rivals, and yet, apart from the instances I have already mentioned there never seemed much possibility of Butler being in difficult.

The mastery of Martin.
In addition to their inability to score goals themselves, Liverpool made the acquisition of points an easy matter for their opponents, and the result of the dual dejects was desirous. The game had not been in progress very long before it was parent where Sunderland would dominate the situation. But before I allude to this let me retrace my steps somewhat to mention that ten minutes after the start from a free kick, the ball was placed wide in Buchan, who netted from long range with a tremendous drive.

Then it was made apparent that Martin would be a continual source of danger to the Liverpool defence for Tosswill, who was operating at right half-back, could not get within yards of the speedy winger when once the latter was under weigh.

The ensuing three goals were directly attributed to the Sunderland outside left who raced past his opponent with consummate ease, and had ample time when near the goal line to place the ball just where he pleased.

One centre came to Buchan, who coolly nodded the ball to Richardson, and Campbell was helpless to stop the shot. Another flashed across the goal mouth, and Buchan, charging inwards, used his head to complete the attack. Still another centre was precisely located, and Richardson again obliged. The whole thing was becoming almost monotonous, and made one wonder when it would come to an end.

The Liverpool full-backs were unable to cover up the deficiencies of their comrades, and at half-time the Wearsiders were accorded a rousing reception from the spectators, who had throughout shown their appreciation of the fine football of the visitors.

Afterwards the Liverpool defence was not so readily pierced, but the forwards continued to spoil all their midfield cleverness by their lack of shooting power. By way of a change. Mordue centred for Buchan to score another grand goal. Injuries to players now became rather frequent, these being purely accidental, but they affected the quality of the sport.

Peake had to be carried off, and Longworth, who had been badly shaken in the first half, changed places with Goddard. The former returned after ten minutes, and then Hobson, the Sunderland right full-back, retired. Just before time Metcalf made amends for several previous blunders by converting a centre from Lacey, and few seconds later Metcalf headed another goal from a pass by Gracie.

Faulty forwards.
I have already stated the causes of Liverpool’s discomfiture; and their frailties stood out in greater contrast by reason of the excellence of their rivals where they themselves were weakest. In opening out the play, Gracie was seen to great advantage, but shooting is evidently not his forte. Metcalf redeemed himself somewhat at the finish, but both he and Parkinson blundered repeatedly, and while they were manoeuvring for a clear shot at goal, their hesitancy led to their utter undoing. They would do well to take an example from the Wearside warriors, who were always dangerous at close quarters.

In the half-back line Peake and Ferguson shaped creditably, but Longworth was handicapped by his injury, and the honours in defence were borne off by Pursell, who tackled grandly and kicked cleanly. Campbell made many smart saves, and was in no way responsible for the decisive defeat of his side.

Wonderful Wearsiders.
Nothing finer could be desired than Martin’s work on the Sunderland left wing, though it is only natural to assume that a skillful half back would have lessened his effectiveness. Yet it is also equally easy to imagine that when partnered by Holley, this portion of the attack will stand comparison with the more frequently mentioned right wing pairs.

With head and feet Buchan was irresistible; he made the football easy for his comrades, while the shots he sent in were terrific. Richardson was a determined centre, but inclined to be rash when faced only by the goalkeeper; had he accepted the chance gained often by his own dash and individualism the score must have been doubled.

Tinsley was decidedly useful forward, but Mordue was not so prominent, and appeared to lack the sprightliness of the others. His general demeanour seemed to suggest indifferent health. Towards the finish he showed glimpses of his cleverness especially when he centred for the fifth goal.

All the half-backs were sound, Thomson excelling in defence, while Low was more aggressive in attack. Little fault could be found with the defence, and Butler was easily able to deal with the few shots that came his way.

Liverpool: Kenneth Campbell, Ephraim Longworth, Robert Pursell, Jack Tosswill, Ernest Peake, Bob Ferguson, Arthur Goddard, Arthur Metcalf, Jack Parkinson, Tom Gracie, William Lacey.
Sunderland: Joe Butler, Bert Hobson, Harry Ness, Billy Cringan, Charlie Thomson, Harry Low, Jackie Mordue, Charlie Buchan, James Richardson, Walter Tinsley, Harry Martin.
Referee: Mr. Arthur Shallcross (Leek).
(Source: Athletic News: April 14, 1913)


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